SANTA BARABARA, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts astounded audiences once again during the evening performance at The Granada Theatre, on March 29.
Emiliano Campobello, an artist and musician, appreciated the visual effort that is put into each Shen Yun performance.
“It’s really beautiful, the way they flow, the colors, the color palettes are just amazing. It really complements too: the designers that put together these particular colors, the dancer’s costumes. It’s an amazing performance really, from top to bottom,” he said.
One of the most outstanding features of a Shen Yun performance are the radiant colors and costumes.
The Shen Yun website explains the costumes: “They use bright colors to tailor and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season. Every detail is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing. The designers stress harmonic balance and contrast. Their objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture, and a consummate stage effect.”
Mr. Campobello has done a variety of painted works for children’s hospitals, commercial murals, as well as some of the murals inside The Granada Theatre.
With Mr. Campobello was his friend, Lucy Walker, who works in marketing. Lucy said she felt the same as her friend about the show: “it’s awesome. And also it’s really wonderful [they] brought the Chinese culture and spirituality that’s in the play. And what’s going on, the monstrosity that’s going on now in China, where they arrested people just simply practicing meditation.”
Ms. Walker was referring to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party, which sees the practice as a threat to its cultural monopoly. Since 1999 practitioners of this peaceful meditation discipline have been imprisoned, fined, tortured, and even killed for continuing the practice.
Noting this, Mr. Campobello said that “it’s very brave of Shen Yun to make a cultural statement like that.”
Another unique element of Shen Yun is the combination of Eastern and Western instrumentation. According to the Shen Yun website, “A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear. The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.”
As a flute player, Mr. Campobello appreciated the uniqueness of Shen Yun’s orchestra. “The orchestra is phenomenal. I was just saying that I was hoping that they have a CD of the music,” he said. “The orchestra is amazing.”
The Shen Yun Orchestra has CDs and DVDs available from the Shen Yun website, and also started touring the country on its own last year.
The music of Shen Yun helps transport people to faraway lands and ancient dynasties. Similarly, the animated backdrops immerse the audience in the show. According to the Shen Yun website, “The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms. From vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another; from dusty yellow battlegrounds to tropical beaches to Himalayan peaks to picturesque scenery of the Yellow River Delta—the digital projection infinitely expands and transforms the stage.”
Mr. Campobello and Ms. Walker both loved the interplay between the dancers and the stage, and how it brought the performance to life.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Mr. Campobello. “It’s beautiful how it integrates the fantasy world and then brings the dancers out and then goes back in. The timing, the synchronicity of the orchestra, the dancers, the projection, everything has so much work and precision to put all that together.”
Likewise, Ms. Walker was impressed by how innovative the animated backdrops are. “It’s a brand new thing for most people here,” she said. “We have seen a lot of things, I travel extensively around the world, and I have never seen that, and I have seen most shows.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Miles Segni
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006